Course Directors

Dr. Rory A. Cooper

Distinguished Professor, FISA/PVA Chair, Department of Rehabilitation and Technology, University of Pittsburgh 
Director, Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence fore Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering
Pittsburgh, PA

Contact Information
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
6425 Penn Avenue, Suite 400
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 822-3700 

Rory A. Cooper, PhD received the BS and MEng degrees in electrical engineering for California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1985 and 1986, respectively. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering with a concentration in bioengineering from University of California at Santa Barbara in 1989. He is FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physical Medicine & Rehab, and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cooper is Founding Director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh. He is also the Co-Director of the NSF Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center, a joint effort between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

He is the Editor of the journal Assistive Technology and the AT Research Book Series of IOS Press. Dr. Cooper serves or has served on the editorial boards of several prominent peer-reviewed journals in the fields of rehabilitation and bioengineering. He has received multiple prestigious awards to include the Olin Teague Award, Paul Magnuson Award, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, James Peters Award, Maxwell J. Schleifer Award,DaVinci Lifetime Achievement Award, Veteran’s Leadership Program Veteran of the Year, and a member of the inaugural class of the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame. Dr. Cooper has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications. He has ten patents awarded or pending. Dr. Cooper is the author of two books: Rehabilitation Engineering Applied to Mobility and Manipulation and Wheelchair Selection and Configuration, and co-editor of An Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering, Care of the Combat Amputee, and the Warrior Transition Leader Medical Rehabilitation Handbook. Dr. Cooper is an elected Fellow of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Dr. Cooper has been an invited lecturer at many institutions around the world, for example the National Academies of Sciences Distinctive Voices Lecture, and was awarded Honorary Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Xi’an Jiatong University. He has also been elected to Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi honorary societies.   

Dr. Cooper is a former President of RESNA, and a member of the RESNA/ANSI and ISO Wheelchair Standards Committees, and IEEE-EMBS Medical Device Standards Committee. In 1988, he was a bronze medalist in the Paralympic Games, Seoul, Republic of Korea. He was on the steering committee for the 1996 Paralympic Scientific Congress held in Atlanta, GA, and the Sports Scientist for the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team in Beijing, China. In 2009, Dr. Cooper was featured on a Cheerios cereal box for his many achievements. He has been a member of theU.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – Medicare Advisory Committee, Steering Committee of the Academy of PM&R on Research Capacity Building. and Chair of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, and National Academy of Sciences Keck Foundation Initiative on Human Health Span Steering Committee. Dr. Cooper is a U.S. Army veteran with a spinal cord injury and a Director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation. He currently serves as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Prosthetics & Special Disability Programs Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Defense Health Board Subcommittee on Amputation and Orthopedics, and the Board of Directors of Easter Seals. Dr. Cooper has actively collaborated with the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre on increasing access to quality services and devices for people with disabilities in India and throughout developing countries.

COL Paul F. Pasquina


Colonel (RET), U.S. Army Medical Corps
Residency Director and Chair, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation  
Director, Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Contact Information
Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
8901 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20889


Paul F. Pasquina, M.D. is the Residency Director and Chair, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  Dr. Pasquina retired from the United States Army Medical Corps in 2012 as Chief of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS).   He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and USUHS.  In addition to being board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R), he is also board certified in Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Pain Medicine.  He completed a fellowship in sports medicine and remains interested in all aspects of musculoskeletal medicine especially as it applies to individuals with disabilities. 

He is the specialty consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and a Secretarial appointee on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee for Prosthetics and Special Disabilities Programs.  Dr. Pasquina has authored multiple book chapters, journal articles and policy papers.  He has served as the PM&R Residency Program Director and Medical Advisor to the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command for quality healthcare. He has received multiple military awards, as well as awards for teaching and mentorship, including the U.S. Army’s “A” Proficiency Designation for academic excellence, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and Honorary Fellow of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

Guest Faculty and Presenters (Listed Alphabetically)


Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor in Asian American Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

As a visiting clinical assistant professor with the Asian American Studies Program (ASAM) and the Department of Disability and Human Development at UIC, Dr. Rooshey Hasnain is dedicated to understanding the lives, challenges, and strengths of people with disabilities/mental health issues, especially refugees and immigrants. Currently she directs the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution’s Community Engagement Project (ASAM CEP), which aims to build community-university partnerships on issue-based initiatives.

Dr. Hasnain is the principal investigator of the Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think-Tank (ADOPT), a state-funded systems-change initiative that seeks to address the employment gap among Asians with disabilities through an innovative combination of outreach strategies. In more than 16 years of professional work, Dr. Hasnain has concentrated on community-based research projects that find ways to bridge the cross-cultural service gap between U.S. disability service systems and hard-to-reach disabled people and their families, especially in pan-Asian communities.

Dr. Hasnain’s work on capacity-building research initiatives, aimed at developing community-centered advocacy, leadership, and quality-of-life outcomes in partnership with key stakeholders, includes ongoing work with many community-based partner agencies. As a liaison to local and international multicultural agencies, advocacy groups, policy makers, academic institutions, and funders, Dr. Hasnain has directed innovative systems-change projects designed to reduce disparities and promote cultural competency in disability and rehabilitation service systems.



Scientific Program Manager, Brain Injury Portfolio
Department of Veterans Affairs

Stuart Hoffman, PhD, is the Scientific Program Manager for the Brain Injury portfolio, which includes traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke. Dr. Hoffman received his doctoral degree in behavioral and molecular neuroscience at Rutgers University in 1995 and completed his postdoctoral training in pharmacology at Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical campus in 1997. Prior to accepting this position with VA, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University. Dr. Hoffman was also faculty in both the graduate and undergraduate neuroscience programs at Emory University, where he co-developed and directed a multidisciplinary course on neurotrauma. He was previously the Research Director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hoffman has more than 24 years of experience and has authored over 45 peer-reviewed publications in translational research on neuroprotection and recovery of function after brain injury.

Dr. Hoffman has research experience in the following brain injury areas: in vitro TBI models, animal models of TBI, development of animal rehabilitation models, rodent brain ischemia models, translational drug development for neuroprotection, and clinical neurorehabilitation research.


Assistant Professor, Radiology
Uniform Service University of the Health Sciences/Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (USUHS/AFRRI)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Dr. Camille McGann is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the Uniform Service University of the Health Sciences/Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (USUHS/AFRRI) and on staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Radiation Oncology Services. 

Dr. McGann graduated with honors from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ in 1999 with the B.S. in biochemistry.  She graduated from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Bethesda, MD in 2003.   Dr. McGann completed a transitional internship at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, GA in 2004.  Dr. McGann completed her radiation oncology residency with a focus on Brachytherapy at  Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago, IL in 2008.  Dr. McGann has had the following appointments:  Staff,  Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio TX; Assistant Chief, Radiation Oncology Services,  Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC;  and Chief, Radiation Oncology Services,  Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, VA.

On April 19, 2014, Dr. McGann had the honor of being the keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony at USUHS class of 2017.  


Director, Qualitative Research
Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR)
Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

Dr. Seth Messinger is the Director of Qualitative Research for the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research (CRSR).  He is an Associate Professor for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and an adjunct professor with the Uniformed Services University.

Dr. Messinger earned his BA at the University of Connecticut, MA from New York University, and PhD from Columbia University. Dr. Messinger conducted his post-doc at Rutgers University.


Associate Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Clinical and Translational Science
Core Faculty, Center for Research on Health Care
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
Core Faculty, VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion
Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Health Law

Dr. Larissa Myaskovsky is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. She is also a health services researcher and core faculty member at the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System.  With multi-disciplinary training in social psychology, clinical epidemiology, and health services research, Dr. Myaskovsky’s research focuses on using a multi-method approach to analyzing the effects of patient, provider, and system factors on health care processes and outcomes with a special focus on healthcare disparities. She has expertise in two broad clinical areas: (1) patient, provider, and system factors related to quality and equity in patients with spinal cord injury; and, (2) the psychosocial, quality of life, and adherence aspects of organ donation and transplantation. 

She has been awarded VA and NIH funding for her research and has published more than 35 papers in peer-reviewed journals, in addition to abstracts and book chapters on her areas of expertise.  At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Myaskovsky is the Director of the Disparities Specialization for the Institute for Clinical Research and Education, and she has mentored numerous medical and graduate students, as well as residents, fellows, and junior faculty in research design and disparities research for various clinical populations.


Chief Medical Officer, District of Columbia, Department of Behavioral Health
Professor of Psychiatry
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Georgetown University



Dr. Ritchie is the Chief Clinical Officer, Department of Behavioral Health, for the District of Columbia. She retired from the Army in 2010, after holding numerous leadership positions within Army Medicine, to include the Psychiatry Consultant. She trained at Harvard, George Washington, Walter Reed, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and has completed fellowships in both forensic and preventive and disaster psychiatry.

Dr. Ritchie is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and at Georgetown University. An internationally recognized expert, she brings a unique public health approach to the management of disaster and combat mental health issues. Her assignments and other missions have taken her to Korea, Somalia, Iraq, and Cuba. She has over 200 publications, mainly in the areas of forensic, disaster, suicide, ethics, military combat and operational psychiatry, and women’s health issues. Major publications include the Military Medicine Textbook on “Combat and Operational Behavioral Health”, “The Mental Health Response to the 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon”, “Mental Health Interventions for Mass Violence and Disaster”, “Humanitarian Assistance and Health Diplomacy: Military-Civilian Partnership in the 2004 Tsunami Aftermath”, and the series in 2013 on The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for the Treatment of PTSD in military service members. She is currently the senior editor on the forthcoming: “Forensic and Ethical Issues in Military Behavioral Health”, “Women at War”, and “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Diseases in Combat Veterans: A Clinical Casebook.”

Faculty Disclosure

Faculty for this activity have been required to disclose all relationships with any proprietary entity producing health care goods or services, with the exemption of non-profit or government organizations and non-health care related companies.

No significant financial relationships with commercial entities were disclosed by:

Shelly R. Brown, MEd, Course Coordinator
Rooshey Hasnain, PhD, Faculty
Stuart Hoffman, PhD, Faculty
Camille McGann, MD, Faculty
Seth Messinger, PhD, Faculty
Larissa Myaskovsky, PhD, Faculty
Colonel (Ret.) Paul F. Pasquina, MD, Course Director
Elspeth Ritchie, MD MPH, Faculty

The following information was disclosed:

Rory Cooper, PhD, Course Director. Patent Agreements: AT Sciences; Three Rivers Holdings

CME Accreditation and Designation Statement 

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Center for Rehabilitation Science Research at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Science The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other health care professionals are awarded 0.5 continuing education units (CEU's) which are equal to 5.2 contact hours.

Disclaimer Statement

The information presented at this CME program represents the views and opinions of the individual presenters, and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center or Affiliates and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Reasonable efforts have been taken intending for educational subject matter to be presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each program attendee must always use his/her own personal and professional judgment when considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label uses.